Have you ever felt like your life is just stalled?

As you may know a little over a year ago I left my full-time job doing marketing/ event planning to go back to school for a complete career change to physical therapy.  Over the past year I’ve been working my way through the prerequisite classes I need to take just to be able to apply to a 3 year Doctorate of Physical Therapy program.

While I knew it would be hard I have to admit I wasn’t ready for how much I miss actually working.

Even though I wasn’t necessarily passionate about my previous job and I know it was the right time for me to leave, I miss waking up each morning with a place to be and a purpose.  I miss feeling like I’ve accomplished something at the end of every day.  Honestly, I miss feeling like a “real adult”, with real responsibility and getting a paycheck.

I know being in school has it’s purpose and in the long run it may be worth it, but it’s hard to keep that in mind when I’m working through 2 years of fairly boring (sorry but it’s true) prerequisite classes only to be faced with a rigorous application process and if I get in, another 3 years of school.

I have to admit I have been seriously re-thinking all of this recently.  It’s been a very frustrating and stressful few weeks which has unfortunately resulted in this feeling of my life being completely stalled.  I’m sitting dead in the water unsure of which direction to go.

On the one had I can try to battle through the feeling of unfulfillment that I have being in school and hope that once I actually get to PT school I enjoy it more and end up with a career I love.  Or, I can start looking for a job with the skills and experience that I already have and hope I find something that makes me happier than what I was doing before.

I hate this feeling.  I feel like it has completely taken over my life and I just wish something would come along that would jumpstart everything and help me to make some decisions.

**AUTHORS NOTE:  I know this is quite a different style of post for my blog, but it does help for me to just write my thoughts sometimes and I wanted to share a bit of an explanation for my lack of posts recently.  I promise back to regular running/ yoga/ Disney  programming tomorrow!

23 thoughts on “Stalled.

  1. Sometimes it is just hard being a grownup. Only you can decide what path to take, and hopefully the end result will be what you had planned/hoped for.

  2. Hi, no worries. I have a running blog but sometimes I like to write about other things. It’s your soap box.
    This morning I was speaking with a collegue and I started to fantisize about being a student again. Learning new things, writing, getting grade so you know how you are doing. Learning new things! My current job is totally boring so this was just an escapist fantisy.
    What are the career prospects for a PT? In the long run will sticking with it be worthwhile and fulfilling?

    • Career prospects for PT are very good and I do think it’s something I would enjoy, it’s just a matter of deciding if I want it bad enough to go through all of the school. Definitely a difficult decision!

      I did enjoy being back in school and learning new things for a bit, I especially enjoy anatomy. Are you able to maybe take a class in something that interests you while you’re working to fulfill that fantasy a little bit? Online classes are great for busy schedules.

  3. I think its good to question the road you are on. It either lets you realize its time to make a change, or you realize you’re exactly where you need to be. Its not fun to question, but I do feel it is necessary. Keep your head up. You will get through this.

  4. I feel your frustration. I know I’ve told you this before in previous comments, but I think these are common feelings for adults who go back to school to change careers. I certainly went through a similar existential crisis when I went back to school. I think if you keep checking in with yourself and being totally honest about how you feel, instead of sticking to a set plan, you’ll come to the right decision. This may sound corny, but try a pro-con list. They always help me sort out my feelings. Even if I look at the list and there are 10 cons and 1 pro, but my heart tugs at the pro, then I know how I feel.

    • Thanks Karla. I think a pros and cons list is a great idea actually, I’ve battled the sides back and forth in my head for weeks but I’ve never put it down on paper to really look at. I’m going to try that, hopefully it’ll help!

  5. If my memory of the academic calendar is correct, this is finals season. I’m sure that’s adding to your stress load big time so deep, soothing breaths are in order.

    As someone who left a PhD program in the humanities let me tell you this: no one LIKES graduate school. No. One. And if they tell you they liked it, they’re lying and/or have completely blocked out the bad parts.
    Exhibit a:

    So just relax. PhDs are like marathons in that it’s a long, slow, painful process. Masters degrees are like 5ks; they’re painful but the pain is over a lot more quickly.

    • Ha, thanks for the fun link! We are coming up on finals, but I have to admit I think it was more the process of registering for classes for next semester…I sort of suddenly realized I really didn’t want to register for classes and keep doing this (for the next 5 YEARS!). I’m registered as of right now, but I really need to do some thinking before I need to actually pay for next semester!

  6. OH Danielle, I know exactly what you mean and I meant to ask you about school when we saw each other recently; but ran out of time to talk! This time of year also makes it hard for us because it is dark, gloomy and cold. I even feel that way at times, even with my busy life as a mom, employee, wife, and just myself. Stick through it, the prereq classes are the worst, but you will get through this hump and will enjoy doing what you love. I went to school online while I was working full time and it was a HUGE challenge, but in the end I did get my degree and I am so glad I didn’t give up. Set small goals for yourself to give yourself something to look forward to (they don’t have to be the expensive Disney races necessarily). But even just to have some sort of routine where you get up and leave the house and go to the library to work or hit one of your yoga classes or even volunteer somewhere so you have a place to go. Just some thoughts!

    • Thank you so much for this comment Pam. I honestly think you hit the nail on the head with this one. I used to be SO busy and now I just take a few classes, teach a yoga class and run a lot, I feel like I have way too much down time and I’m not sure what to do with myself. It feels really unproductive, but I’ve been thinking the same thing…maybe I need to start teaching more yoga classes or find a place or two to volunteer and have more on my “regular” schedule to help fill my time and feel more fulfilled.

      And yes, I think you’re right about the weather not exactly helping the situation any…

  7. Stalled. Bugger. Sounds like you just need a break for a few weeks and then you can get back on it. ‘Burnout’, for want of a better word, is normal and more often then not is solved by just having a break. If you can, put away the books, put away your Garmin, and just enjoy the lead up to and Christmas with some relaxation and ‘fun’ running. I always find ‘unplugged’ running clears my head and lets me see the bigger picture.

  8. Hang in there friend! I haven’t ever gone through a major career change myself but I think any major life change when you’re an adult is hard. And I’m sure the fact that you haven’t gotten to the “good part” of school yet is tough – probably feels like it will never end. Sending you hugs!! ❤

  9. I’m so sorry that you’re feeling this way. At least you had the guts to go ahead and try this incredible new endeavor. I made the decision to go back to school months ago and am no closer at doing so than I was. I’m at a stand still with it and have no idea how to move. The only thing I can say, was actually already said in a scene from Scrubs (I miss that show). It’s somewhat applicable:

    Dr. Kelso: You are going to shut your damn yapper and listen for a change, because I got you pegged, sweetheart. You want to take the easy way out with the surgery because you’re scared. You’re scared because if you try and fail, there’s only you to blame. Well, Missy, let me break this down for you, Bobbo-style. Life is scary. Get used to it.
    J.D.: [Narration] And then it seemed like Dr. Kelso wasn’t only talking to her.
    Dr. Kelso: There are no magical fixes. It’s all up to you. So get up off your keister, get out of here, and go start doin’ the work.
    Nell Goldman: What if it’s too hard?
    Dr. Christopher Turk: Yeah, what if it’s too hard?
    Dr. Kelso: Turkleton, I have no idea why you’re chiming in, but I’ll say this to both of you. Nothing in this world that’s worth having comes easy.

    Don’t give up. Stay strong. And I’m local so if you ever need to go out and vent or anything, just let me know 🙂

  10. Pingback: 2013 Goals Review | Live, Run, Grow

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